A Cleveland man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a police officer who shot him during a routine traffic stop, despite the fact that he was unarmed and had his hands up.
Gregory Love, 29, described the night that would put him in the hospital with a bullet in his arm.
"It was wonderful, beautiful outside," Love told the Cleveland Scene. "There was a concert that night -- Mary J. Blige and Anthony Hamilton -- so I knew it was going to be a beautiful summer night down there."
Love was driving in Cleveland’s warehouse district with two passengers, Dunja Biggins and Brandon Vason, at around 2:30 in the morning on June 23, 2013, according to the lawsuit. He tried to make a left turn when a Cleveland police officer, Vincent Montague Jr., two years older than Love and a five-year veteran of the CPD, ordered him to stop.
Love tried to turn around, but could not make it past all the pedestrians. Montague then reportedly pointed his service weapon at Love and Biggins. Montague tried to turn off Love’s engine, reaching into the car, but could not. He then stepped back and fired a round. The bullet hit Love in the chest and lodged in his right arm.
At that point, Love’s chief emotion was shock. He described his reaction: "I had my hands up, and I'm like, 'Do you know you just shot me? You see my hands up.’”
The scene attracted a crowd of bystanders, some of whom began filming on their phones.
"At this time, it's a melee," Love recalled. "It's just cops and lights and cameras. I'm shot, it was just crazy."
Adding insult to injury, Love was charged with traffic violations and eluding police. The latter charge was dropped.
The police department has made no comment on the litigation, and it’s still unclear whether Montague meant to shoot or if the gun discharged accidentally.
Love is seeking over $75,000 in damages for Montague’s use of excessive force and “unjustifiable and malicious conduct,” which he says violated the protection against unlawful arrest guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
According to the Cleveland Scene, the CBD is already under investigation by the Department of Justice for repeated complaints of officers using excessive force.
A brawl broke out at a LA Fitness gym in Roseville, Minn. last Sunday.
The fight reportedly began on the gym's basketball court, but spilled over into the main fitness area, noted TwinCities.com (videos below).
Police say four males were fighting with another male on the court and chased him into the main area where a LA Fitness manager told the man to stay by the front desk.
“People were actually throwing two and a half, five, 10 pound weights within the building,” Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand told CBS Minnesota (video below).
Ali Yusuf Barre, Abdirashid Yasin Duad and Mohamed Awil Suleiman were charged with disorderly conduct and participation in a riot.
Police responded to 147 incidents at the gym in 2013.
“It’s gotten to the point that [the gym] is bordering on a public nuisance,” added Lt. Rosand.
Police say the club refuses to put in security cameras or hire security guards.
“They don’t want to take any proactive measures to prevent theft in the parking lot or inside,” stated Lt. Rosand.
Dog Fighting in Svaneti: English Russia Blog Posts Dog Fighting as Entertainment and ‘Comfort’ (Photos)
On March 6, Ukraine's acting president accused Russia of pre-Georgia (2008) open-aggression tactics in Crimea, as the world focuses on the serious threat of war in this region. That same day "team" posted graphic photos of (illegal) dog fighting on the English Russia (Georgia) blog, touted as,"The most popular blog about this part of the world with a twist." All content is "submitted by readers through feedback or acquired through open sources," the disclaimer states, "Welcome and stay comforted."
Following the traditions of Svaneti (Georgia) dogs for fighting meet on neutral territory, because Svans believe that the dog fighting on its own territory has an advantage. It is strictly forbidden. Dogs from both sides come accompanied by several cars with supporters. The road quickly gets blocked, as more and more cars arrive for the spectacle, and in such a situation nobody shows impatience or displease.
Owners of dogs start negotiating several months before the event. If a fighter is too famous or strong it becomes difficult to find an opponent. Nobody wants to lose. So such preparatory negotiations may last for a month or two…
The battle takes place right on the road. When the cars reach the road sign showing the boarder of the village they stop, surround a small area on the road and let dogs and their owners show up. After the signal both dogs get unleashed.
During a fight it’s dangerous to come too close. They may bite you too.
As a rule, it’s the more experienced dog that wins. Strength is also important, but those dogs that have no experience usually lose.
Source: English Russia
San Diego police and animal control officials are investigating allegations of animal neglect and elder abuse at a million-dollar home in an exclusive San Diego community.
The formidable clutter in the front yard of the home on Avenida de las Pescas in the affluent community is disturbing and dangerous.
However, according to officials who inspected the home, they were not expecting to discover the filth, stench of animal waste, and locked doors which held dogs in bathrooms and bedrooms until they had dug under the doors. Nor did they expect to see cats confined to feces-covered cages.
They were also not expecting to find that the locked doors had held 90-year-old Robert Stella prisoner for years.
Children of Mr. Stella, the homeowner, called San Diego police and Animal Control last week, after their father, a World War II veteran and retired nuclear physicist, was found propped up in his wheelchair in the driveway.
Police are investigating allegations that Stella was severely abused by his live-in girlfriend, an alleged homeless woman he befriended years ago, after meeting her in an alley behind Mary Star-of-the-Sea Church, the family said.
Robert Stella was removed from the home last Thursday by ambulance. Miles Criscuolo said his grandfather was malnourished and dehydrated and under 24-hour care at a nearby hospital after his sister called the authorities.
Criscuolo confirmed that Mr. Stella was treated in ICU for six days and has since been moved to a nearby care facility where he is being treated for severe bedsores.
On Saturday, San Diego County animal control officers recovered 17 dogs and cats total and removed nine of the animals, according to NBC News.
The homeowner’s caregiver, described as a 57-year-old woman who has been living in the home for years, reportedly kept eight of the animals.
Officials wouldn't say what condition the animals were in, NBC reports. Deputy Director Dan DeSousa stated that the department is looking into whether animal neglect or abuse charges need to be filed.
Criscuolo said there was an animal carcass in the hallway, animal feces, dirty walls and soiled furniture pack the house. “It’s not pretty inside,” he said. He claims the caregiver is a hoarder and fails to take care of his elderly grandfather as well as the animals.
Family members report that the woman, who lived with Robert Stella and was supposedly caring for him, stole money and abused him for years.
Stella’s granddaughter, Emily Criscuolo, said “She shut out the family and totally isolated him.”
She added: “It was really hard for us to find out what was going on inside the home because the woman wouldn’t let any of the family members inside…”
As of Friday evening, March 7, no charges have been filed, NBC-7 reports. The family says it has given the girlfriend/caregiver until the end of the month to vacate the home, in the 6600 block of Avenida de las Pescas.
Crisuolo said her grandfather, a veteran who survived the Battle of the Bulge, has been living in horrible conditions without enough food and water for years. The woman was very controlling and would tie him to a bed when she left the house, the family said.
San Diego Animal Control officers were reportedly at the house again Thursday night removing the carcass of a dead cat, NBC-7 announced.
His son, Ramon Stella, said a sealed court document the family has learned about could be a marriage certificate between his father and the girlfriend, though he is not yet certain.
“The attorneys are going to get a court order to open it up and see what it is,” he said.
Ramon Stella said the girlfriend moved into the home about five years ago. She once produced a cable access TV show called “Victoria’s Secret Library,” which aired on Time Warner Cable in San Diego.
He said his father would always thank the family for their cautionary advice, though assured them he was all right.
A neighbor told the Light “the family has been through hell trying to get this woman out of his life. … they have called Adult Protective Services many times, as well as County Animal Control. It looks like the family might finally be able to take control of his life again … but why did it have to take this long?”
Keenan Finkelstein is accused of shooting a deputy sheriff in the leg.
Finkelstein is using Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law as his defense, notes the Pensacola News-Journal.
Deputy Sgt. Shedrick Johnson and other officers were searching for a robbery suspect in Pensacola, Fla. on March 20, 2013.
Police saw Finkelstein walk out from the garage of a home where the suspect, Jonathan Chappell, was living.
Sgt. Johnson, who was hiding behind a tree, told Finkelstein that he was a sheriff’s deputy.
However, Finkelstein pulled a gun and shot Sgt. Johnson in the leg.
Finkelstein claims that he fired the gun after someone shined a light at him, told him to put his hands up, shot a weapon, but did not identify as law enforcement, noted WEAR-TV.
Judge Terry Terrell ruled today that Finkelstein could not use “Stand Your Ground” as his defense and the criminal trial would proceed.
George Thompson was arrested after recording a police officer cursing into his cell phone while in public.
Thompson used an iPhone to record Police Officer Thomas Barboza who went on a profane rant into his cell phone on Jan. 6 in Fall River, Mass. (video below).
“Every other word out of his mouth he’s dropping the F-bomb,” Thompson told WPRI 12. “This is going on 10, 15 minutes."
“I said to him, ‘Why don’t you cool it with the language there?’” added Thompson. “He says, ‘Why don’t you shut the [expletive] up and mind your own [expletive] business?’”
“He comes running up the stairs to me, looks right into the camera, and says, ‘You [expletive] welfare bum, I’m arresting you,’” recalled Thompson. “I actually thought it was a joke.”
Officer Barboza charged Thompson with unlawful wiretap and resisting arrest, even though the Massachusetts State Supreme Court and the U.S Supreme Court have ruled it is legal to record police in public, noted ABAJournal.com.
Police claim Thompson broke the law by attempting to hide his iPhone while "secretly recording" officer’s conversation, but have not provided any proof of the alleged crime.
“I’m sticking [the phone out] with my arm fully extended sitting on the porch,” Thompson said. “With my arm fully extended, I’m videotaping him.”
Officer Barboza confiscated Thompson’s iPhone, but police said the video recording (evidence) was mysteriously destroyed while the iPhone was stored in a police evidence room.
“If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he’s fired and I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges,” stated Fall Rive Police Chief Daniel Racine. “If any other individual did that, we will take out felony charges.”
Fall Rive Police claimed they disciplined Officer Barboza for chatting on his phone while working, which violated department policy.
Fall River City Councilor Daniel Rego said during a recent public hearing that he doubted Officer Barboza's phone call was not official police business, noted The Herald News.
"As far as you telling me a police officer is not doing anything because he's on his phone, I totally disagree with you," Rego told Thompson. "He could have been talking with another officer about another situation."
Sources: The Herald News, ABAJournal.com, WPRI 12
Long Island man Kyle Rodgers was bar hopping over the weekend when he potentially became the latest victim of the “Knockout” game.
The 23-year-old had just left the Sweet & Vicious bar on Spring St. and was headed to another in the East Village when someone attacked him from behind.
Rodgers was attacked at 2:25 a.m. on Sunday morning. The attacker, who knocked Rodgers unconscious, was caught on camera.
After knocking Rodgers to the ground, the attacker casually walked away.
Rodgers woke up in Bellevue Hospital where he was treated for his injuries, including a broken jaw.
“It’s just really bad,” Mike Rodgers, Kyle’s father, said “It’s cowardly more than anything.”
Police reported that the two men had no contact prior to the attack, and would not confirm whether or not the attack was part of the "Knockout" game.
Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, a top Army sexual assault prosecutor, has been suspended after being charged with sexual assault.
Morse was in charge of supervising almost two dozen special victims prosecutors, responsible for ferreting out cases of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and crimes against children in the Army. Now a lawyer who used to work for him has come forward with the claim that Morse groped her and tried to kiss her in a hotel room at a conference in 2011.
Morse was head of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, Va., training Army prosecutors worldwide, and acted as the lead prosecutor in the Robert Bales case — the staff sergeant who pleaded guilty to mass murder of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012.
“We can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation and that the individual in question has been suspended from duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” an Army official told Stars and Stripes, speaking under condition on anonymity. “Given that this is still an open case, we are precluded from providing any additional information at this point.”
At a time when investigations of sexual assault are at an all-time high, Nancy Parrish, president of Protect Our Defenders, said that Morse’s case is yet another example of why the sexual assault “status quo” needs an overhaul.
"If true, this case is yet another disheartening example of the hollow pledges of ‘zero tolerance’ we have heard for more than 20 years,” Parrish wrote in an email. “When the military has those at top of the chain who are in charge of fighting sexual assault accused of sexual misconduct at a conference on sexual assault it should be clear to every level headed human being [that] the status quo must be changed."
588 soldiers were recently disqualified from “positions of trust” at the end of a year-long investigation into sexual assault in the Army. An Associated Press investigation found that the military frequently reduced strong cases to lesser charges and that suspects were unlikely to serve time, even if convicted of misconduct.
The Military Justice Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and aimed at shifting the responsibility of prosecuting soldiers charged with serious criminal charges to military trial lawyers outside the chain of command, failed to pass Thursday in the Senate.
The House Judiciary Committee of the Kentucky Legislature passed a bill on March 6 that would give law enforcement more leeway and stronger penalties to curb dog fighting.
House Bill 408 is co-sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, and Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, and would enable law enforcement to charge more individuals involved in dog fighting with animal cruelty in the first degree, which is a felony.
Those who could be charged include:
(1) Dog owners who know, or should know, that their animal is being used to fight other animals for pleasure or profit;
(2) Those who help to organize the fights; and
(3) Those who train, breed, or otherwise keep animals and their offspring for fighting.
Rep. Jenkins explained that HB 408 would allow law enforcement officers to consider dog fighting paraphernalia, such as weights and sticks typically used to train dogs for fighting as evidence in an animal-cruelty case.
Currently, law enforcement can only pursue charges once a dog fight has taken place.
“It’s very secretive,” Jenkins said. “The actual fights are hard to know about and to investigate.”
Note: The legislation would not apply to police dogs, dogs involved in field trials, guard dogs or other working dogs trained to attack under specific circumstances, although some lawmakers indicated they may file floor amendments to clarify that point.
HB 408 now goes to the full House for consideration.
The Legislative Research Commission advises that anyone can visit lrc.ky.gov or call toll-free 1-866-840-2835 for the latest on the status of bills.
To leave a message for any legislator, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at 1-800-372-7181.
You may write to any legislator by name at Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Ky., 40601.
Source: Kentucky Forward
An unidentified man has reportedly been urinating on people near the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla.
According to police, "the victims were standing with their backs turned to the suspect when they suddenly felt that they were being urinated on."
The urinating incidents happened on Feb. 22, Feb. 26 and March 1, Gainesville police stated on their Facebook page.
When victims confronted the urinator, he ran away, reports My Fox NY.
Police described the suspect as a black male between the ages of 25-30.
He was last seen wearing a gray or dark hoodie and baggie jeans, noted USA Today.